Du Kang’s Wine Liqoured Up Liu Ling
Ok, like you know how your parents are always like “stop watching so much TV” or “you’re always on your phone” or “read a book” or “Olivia why is my car in the neighbours parking lot” blah blah blah and a little more blah? Bleurgh.
It sucks ass, but you know when they stop flapping their jaws that they mean well and actually DON’T mean to kill you by drowning you in spittle as they yell or making you bleed out of your burst eardrums (yeah I was shocked too.)
So during this Easter period, where we all just cram ourselves in the house farthest from Nairobi with relatives we don’t like so that we can eat good-ish food just because we’ve got a couple of extra days off work/school, I decided to actually read a book that my mother can see (she doesn’t believe that electronics can actually store books nowadays, THERE HAS TO BE PAPER!). SHE recommended it since SHE bought it(even if she’s never read it) so I decided hey, you know what, lemme read a book (please note that this is after electricity disappeared for 5 hours and my phone battery died completely. BUT I still read it so suck on THAT!)
It was a trip. Yes. I have used a drug term to describe my experience READING A BOOK. And when I say trip I don’t mean the “oh-my-God-my-hand-is-awesome-just-look-at-how-my-fingers-are-moving” awesome trip, it was a “wtf-wtf-WTF-aaaaaah!!!!!” kind. I was so traumatized I just had to spread the terror. The story is actually what the post is titled. That’s the name of the story.
I’ll let you simmer on that one.
There is an old saying that goes like this: carpenters respect Lu Ban; blacksmiths respect Laojun; and brewers respect Du Kang. Du Kang is the king of wine makers.
This story has been passed down from generation to generation. An ancient book records: “The best wine was made by Du Kang; the best drinker was Liu Ling… But after taking 3 cups of Du Kang’s wine, Liu Ling was dead drunk for three years.” This is exactly what happened.
You still there? Mmm.
Liu Ling was one of the seven sages in the Bamboo Grove that opposed the feudal leader. A notoriously heavy drinker, he travelled around drinking everywhere he went in order to indicate his contempt for the rulers of his time.
One day he came across Du Kang’s winery in the south of Luoyang and, looking up, saw a couplet on the door, which read:
One cup puts down a fierce tiger,
Two cups send a dragon to the bottom of seas.
On top of the couplet, a horizontal scroll went like this:
Free of charge if it doesn’t liqour you up for three years.
On seeing the couplet, Liu Ling was extremely annoyed. He said to himself, “You should ask around before setting up a wineshop. Everyone knows that I’m an exceptionally heavy drinker. I have drunk from the sea of Japan in the east to Sichuan in the west; to Yunnan in the south and to the north of the Great Wall. Never have I seen double, not even for half a day. Today I come to your place, and you dare boast like this. I’ll drain all your pots and jars and within 3 days you’ll have to close.” So saying he stormed into the shop.
Seeing Liu Ling, Du Kang offered him a cup of wine. After Liu had tossed it back, Du Kang tried to persuade him not to drink it anymore, but Liu wouldn’t listen. After a second one, Liu Ling wanted a third. After it he said “the first cup was sweet as honey; the second sweeter than honey, but the third makes me feel that the sky and the earth are rotating. I feel dizzy, my eyes are bleary.” He staggered home, delirious and talking gibberish all the way.
At home, Liu told his wife, “I am dying. Please bury me in the wine pool, cover me with distiller’s grains and put my wine pot and cup into my coffin.” And without further ado he died, and was buried as requested.
Before they knew it, three years had passed. One day, Du Kang came to the village in search of Liu Ling. The villagers pointed him in the direction of Liu Ling’s house and Du Kang knocked on the door. Liu Ling’s wife opened it and asked what he wanted.
“He didn’t pay for the wine he drank three years ago,” said Du Kang.
On hearing this the wife was furious. “Three years ago, he came back home and died because of the wine he had drunk. I didn’t know that it was YOUR wine. You come to me for money, but first I should ask you for my husband!”
“He’s not really dead. He’s just dead drunk. Show me his tomb.”
They went to Liu Ling’s tomb and opened his coffin. Surely enough, Liu Ling was neatly dressed, and his complexion was as ruddy as when he was alive. Du Kang went up and patted him on the shoulder yelling, “Liu Kang wake up! Wake up!” As he expected, Liu Lang yawned, stretched his arms, opened his eyes and exclaimed repeatedly, “Du Kang’s wine is excellent! Du Kang’s wine is excellent!” From then on, the story of how Du Kang’s wine caused three years of drunkenness was related far and wide.
It is said that later Du Kang and Liu Ling became IMMORTALS and ASCENDED TO HEAVEN. The effect of Du Kang’s wine had been to make Liu Ling IMMORTAL.